High Res Photo of Jennifer Granick
Photo credit: Michael Sugrue
Yesterday's report from the independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, or PCLOB, confirms what Christopher Sprigman and I said back in June of last year in our New York Times Op Ed “The Criminal NSA”. The NSA’s telephone record metadata program, in which it collects the calling records of almost everyone inside the United States, is illegal. Amend that: it’s screamingly illegal. Flat out.
When should courts follow legal precedent and when should the law change? This is a debate that underlies this month’s contrary decisions about the constitutionality of government collection of telephone call metadata under section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. And despite this week’s dual holdings in favor of the government—on this issue and on the issue of laptop border searches—a judicial consensus may be emerging that the Fourth Amendment must evolve along with technology and government surveillance capabilities.
Yesterday, I wrote that the report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies--"Liberty And Security In A Changing World”—suggests reforms that would improve U.S. surveillance law’s protection of the rights of foreigners. My non US-person friends seem underwhelmed, so I thought I’d take a moment to elaborate on the changes I’m talking about. Read More.
Encryption helps human rights workers, activists, journalists, financial institutions, innovative businesses, and governments protect the confidentiality, integrity, and economic value of their activities. However, strong encryption may mean that governments cannot make sense of data they would otherwise be able to lawfully access in a criminal or intelligence investigation.
Arguing that a defendant’s conviction for website hacking should be overturned because legitimate, highly valuable security and privacy research commonly employs techniques that are essentially identical to what the defendant did and that such independent research is of great value to academics, government regulators and the public even when – often especially when — conducted without a website owner’s permission.
Arguing that if the court should not compel Apple to create software to enable unlocking and search of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, it will jeopardize digital and personal security more generally.
After the Estate of James Joyce refused to allow a scholar to quote Joyce in her book, we successfully defended her right under the fair use doctrine to use the quotes she needed to illustrate her scholarship. After we prevailed in the case, the Estate paid $240,000 of our client’s legal fees.
Right now, a battle is underway to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a statute that can transform innocuous workplace behavior into a federal crime, simply because a computer is involved. The CFAA is a bludgeon that Big Business and the Department of Justice have willingly used against the American worker, and its time for that to stop.
The first part of this article outlined the mechanics of the Megaupload website, and the novel questions of criminal inducement on which the government's indictment is premised. Here, we explore two more extensions of existing law on which the indictment is based, and the impact this prosecution is likely to have on Internet innovators and users alike.
Days after anti-piracy legislation stalled in Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice coordinated an unprecedented raid on the Hong Kong-based website Megaupload.com. New Zealand law enforcement agents swooped in by helicopter to arrest founder Kim Dotcom at his home outside of Auckland, and seized millions of dollars worth of art, vehicles and real estate. Six other Megaupload employees were also arrested. Meanwhile, the Justice Department seized Megaupload's domain names and the data of at least 50 million users worldwide.
"Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), noted that “increasingly, modern surveillance is mass surveillance” which can be facilitated by new technologies and the internet.
Secretive large scale surveillance differs from warrant-directed searches by the volume and depth of data and could be abetted by the ease of converting in-home appliances with microphones and cameras into “surveillance machines”, she said."
"Even Hutchins’s defenders say if he’s guilty some punishment is in order, but his prosecution also sends a mixed message. Hutchins had been a model of public-private cooperation at a time when the government was having difficulty recruiting cybersecurity talent. (James Comey irritated the community in 2014 when he said the FBI struggled to hire people because “some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview.”) Some security researchers said they would stop sharing information with the government in protest.
"“The law is clearly targeted at economic activity and is being applied to an entirely different category to suppress speech,” said Jennifer Granick, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union."
"“This sanctions law, which was written for one purpose,” said Jennifer Stisa Granick, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology project, “is being used to suppress speech with little consideration of the free expression values and the special risks of blocking speech, as opposed to blocking commerce or funds as the sanctions was designed to do. That’s really problematic.”"
"Jennifer Granick, a lawyer with the ACLU’s technology division, said that abuses of power will become unavoidable if companies continue to face pressure to moderate their content.
“It's not a surprise that Twitter employees have this capability,” Granick said. “The public and Congress have been demanding that the platform companies create the ability to ban people from the platform or delete particular messages.”"
Three dimensional printing turns bits into atoms. The technology is simply amazing. These machines draw on programming, art and engineering to enable people to design and build intricate, beautiful, functional jewelry, machine parts, toys and even shoes. In the commercial sector, 3D printing can revolutionize supply chains as well. As the public interest group Public Knowledge wrote once, "It will be awesome if they don't screw it up."
Jennifer Granick will be presenting her paper Principles for Regulation of Government Surveillance in the Age of Big Data.
For more information visit: http://law.scu.edu/hightech/2013-internet-law-wip.cfm
Solutions to many pressing economic and societal challenges lie in better understanding data. New tools for analyzing disparate information sets, called Big Data, have revolutionized our ability to find signals amongst the noise. Big Data techniques hold promise for breakthroughs ranging from better health care, a cleaner environment, safer cities, and more effective marketing. Yet, privacy advocates are concerned that the same advances will upend the power relationships between government, business and individuals, and lead to prosecutorial abuse, racial or other profiling, discrimination, redlining, overcriminalization, and other restricted freedoms.
Have you ever borrowed a smartphone without asking? Modified a URL? Scraped a website? Called an undocumented API? Congratulations: you might have violated federal law! A 1986 statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), provides both civil and criminal remedies for mere "unauthorized" access to a computer.
The Journal of National Security Law & Policy and The Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law proudly present "Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data: National Security in an Age of Unlimited Information".
Jennifer Granick talks about how notions of privacy have changed over the years and where she thinks things are headed in the future. She is a professor at the Stanford School of Law and Director of Civil Liberties at the Center for Internet and Society, where she specializes in the intersection of engineering, privacy and the law.
What kind of surveillance assistance can the U.S. government force companies to provide? This issue has entered the public consciousness due to the FBI's demand in February that Apple write software to help it access the San Bernardino shooter's encrypted iPhone. Technical assistance orders can go beyond the usual government requests for user data, requiring a company to actively participate in the government's monitoring of the targeted user(s).
In this week's feature interview we're chatting with Stanford's very own Jennifer Granick about a recent ruling in a Virginia court that appears to give the FBI permission to hack into any computer it wants, sans warrant. Well that's what the headlines are screaming, anyway. But as you'll hear, it's not quite that black and white.
""What was remarkable was that the public hadn't seen the argument surfaced," says Jennifer Granick at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. She says Judge Orenstein was trying to stoke a public debate. "Judge Orenstein had concerns about whether the government's legal argument was a valid legal argument."